Steven Branfman: A Father's Kaddish
399 N Garey Ave, Pomona, CA 91767
Saturday, June 1 at 4:00 PM 6:00 PM
Ends Aug 18, 2024
A Father’s Kaddish – Exhibition Overview A Father’s Kaddish tells the story of how Steven Branfman used the craft of pottery to help him work through his grief after the death of his 23-year-old son. In 2005, Jared Branfman died of brain cancer at the age of 23. A week after his death, his father Steven Branfman, a potter and teacher, went into his studio, took some clay, and made a chawan, a Japanese style tea bowl. Each day for one year, he made one chawan – they were the only pots he made. Steve’s daily chawan made at his wheel was his own personal kaddish (traditional Jewish prayer of mourning). For 9 years, these 365 bowls sat unfinished on shelves in Branfman’s studio. Nine years later, he decided to glaze and fire these bowls, bringing them to life with color and sheen. A Father’s Kaddish is the personal story of a man who created an art form to honor his son and his son’s memory. The short film A Father’s Kaddish (2020), which will be screened during the June 1 opening reception to accompany this exhibition, is a potent and moving journey through the universal experience of loss, mourning, and rebuilding a life. Eighty-five of Branfman’s mourning bowls, along with the trailer for the film, will be on view in the Igal & Diane Silber Vault Gallery at AMOCA from May 11–August 18, 2024. A chawan is unique. It is an object tied to history, culture, ritual, and personality. To create a chawan there must be a dedication, an inspiration that grows from within you. Jared’s chawan came from the depths of his soul. The chawan I made then and those I make now are from my heart. They are in Jared’s honor and in his memory. I hope you can see them the way I do. – Steven Branfman